The Health News – 25 August 2015

Overview:

• The Islamic organisations paid to certify halal meat in Australia are being reviewed as part of an overall audit of food certifiers, which includes organic and kosher organisations. According to Senate hearing into food certification there has been 22 different halal certifying organisation and about 70 abattoirs that export to the Islamic markets.

• Another measles case linked to the University of Queensland’s (UQ) St Lucia campus has been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to six in just five weeks.

• The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation claims a Launceston General Hospital patient was forced to wait more than a week in the emergency room for a bed on a ward. Federation’s branch secretary, Neroli Ellis, said it was evidence that pressure on the hospital had reached ‘crisis’ point, and that more beds were needed to cope with increasing pressure in the emergency department.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 25th August 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-24/halal-certifiers-review-kosher/6719114

The Islamic organisations paid to certify halal meat in Australia are being reviewed as part of an overall audit of food certifiers, which includes organic and kosher organisations.

The Senate hearing into food certification has been told that there are 22 different halal certifying organisations covering about 70 abattoirs which export to Islamic markets.

Greg Read, from the Federal Agriculture Department, told the hearing the latest review came on top of the regular six-monthly audit carried out on processing plants and a regular review of the

Islamic organisations responsible for certification.

The inquiry, charged with looking at food labelling and third party certification, has attracted over 1,400 submissions, with many focussing on halal certification.

Opponents argue the certification fee is effectively a tax, while prior to the hearing a number of critics claimed the monies raised could be channelled to extremist organisations.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-23/sixth-case-of-measles-confirmed-for-university-queensland/6717948

Another measles case linked to the University of Queensland’s (UQ) St Lucia campus has been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to six in just five weeks.

The Darling Downs Public Health Unit said the person became ill after coming into contact with the first recent measles sufferer from UQ, who was diagnosed in mid-July after returning from overseas.

The fifth case was confirmed on Friday.

The Health Unit has issued an alert after the latest person to contract the virus visited Toowoomba last week.

They visited the Spotted Cow Hotel …. while infectious.

Darling Downs Public Health Unit Director Dr Penny Hutchinson said management of the Spotted Cow had been advised of the case so they could let staff and patrons who were at the hotel last Saturday know.

Dr Hutchinson said there was the potential for subsequent cases to appear as a result of contact with the infected person weekend.

However, she emphasised, there was no ongoing risk at the Spotted Cow.

Dr Hutchinson said symptoms usually started around the 10-day mark, but could occur between seven and 18 days after contact with an infectious person.

Symptoms include a cough, fever and runny nose with the person contagious before the telltale red rash appears.

Special vaccination clinics have been set up at UQ to control the outbreak.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-20/nurses-union-claims-launceston-hospital-at-crisis-point/6710906

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation claims a Launceston General Hospital patient was forced to wait more than a week in the emergency room for a bed on a ward.

The Federation’s branch secretary, Neroli Ellis, said it was evidence that pressure on the hospital had reached ‘crisis’ point, and that more beds were needed to cope with increasing pressure in the emergency department.

“It’s just not acceptable to have patients waiting, one example, one poor person waited eight days in the emergency department last week for a bed,” she said.

“It’s not acceptable to have people waiting at least two days on trolleys to get to a ward where they really need to be admitted immediately.”

Ms Ellis said it had been a problem for years, and called on the State Government to provide more funding.

The union said on average about 20 people at a time had had to wait for a bed during the week, and nurses had struggled to cope with the demand.

Sonia Purse from the Tasmanian Health Service northern region has asked the public for patience and understanding as they manage the increased demand for admissions.

The union will meet with senior hospital management next week.

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